26 October 2008

Waikato Show Hunter 26th October

I luff my pony!!
Took him down to our first registered Show Hunter outing of the season. Left horribly early in the morning, we were picked up from the paddock at 5.15 as the weather was completely disgusting and we wanted to get there early to try & get a good park. Got there early & decided to change my entry. Had originally entered 2x open hunter 1m classes, open hunter 1.05m & 1.10m high points class. Changed from 1 of the 1m classes to 90cm so that I could have an easier first class. Quickly plaited up in the rain as had gone from the 5th class to the 2nd, not giving myself a lot of time to get ready. It stopped raining as I got on thankfully and we headed off.

The 90cm class was very interesting. Normally Flynn's first class at Show Hunter is spent reminding him that neutral coloured fences are not to be galloped at like XC fences... however not this time... He started off absolutely perfectly, had a beautiful steady uphill canter going, took off each time really nicely in the right spot etc, until we came into the 5 stride line, at which point he tried to take off with me into it. Asked him to slow down but there was nobody home. I sat up after the first jump and gave him the biggest half halt I could, which effectively sat him on his ass & then let him forward again. End result was 6 strides in a 5 stride line. He did however land after the second fence and continued on like an angel, no more rushing and listened very nicely. We got a score of 70% (14th place) so very happy with that effort except for the middle, such a shame!

Took him back to the float and untacked him. Just got his waterproof cover on when it started hailing. Mmmm, lovely weather! Hid in the float for a while before heading over to the ring to watch Lynette. After 4 seasons passed in the next hour, it was time to get ready for the 1m class. Of course it absolutely poured down as I got ready, but again stopped when I got on.

The 1m class was very rushy the whole way round and a bit disunited after he decided he couldn't possibly finish his flying change with all 4 legs going in the same direction, but he jumped very nicely, getting a score of 72.5 & 8th place.

The 1.05m class was much nicer, he was listening a lot better, less rushy & more settled. However unfortunately I bought him back to trot in our warm up circle which gave us the obligatory 65% score. Stupid mother!!

Then whilst warming up for the last class we had everything. Hail, thunder and pouring rain. Thankfully it stopped after 15 minutes, but it was certainly very uncomfortable for a little while there!! Also thankfully the SH group were wonderful and kept moving the jumps sideways every few classes so that when you went in you weren't having to deal with horribly pugged up take offs.

The 1.10m high points class made the whole day worthwhile though. He jumped nicely, was lovely & consistent in the middle & was just generally a very nice ride. What was even nicer, was that we got placed! We got 5th, on a score of 77.5%, which earnt us 1 point. What a luffly clever pony he was! And another plus is that he didn't drop a rail in any of the classes, despite the heavy conditions, so I think its safe to say his muscles are fixed!

Photos by Take The Moment - www.takethemoment.co.nz

22 October 2008

I can ride again!!

After having some serious doubts as to whether I was going to be able to ride again anytime soon, I went to see Lynette who gave me some great stretches to do on my arms. After that, since I could actually fully extend my arms & move them again, I decided to go & have a ride on Flynn, to see if there was any chance I would be able to ride him at the Show Hunter this weekend after all...

Turns out that not only can I ride, I can jump too!! I started off by putting out 2 poles & practiced cantering over them and getting 3 strides and 4 strides in the middle. What a hard exercise that was! Flynn had his slightly non-listening ears on, as he's still not 100% balanced on his left rein canter, but tried really hard on the right rein. We are also able to complete flying changes on both reins, albeit after a few "enthusiastic attempts from the back end", but no more going back to trot to get the correct lead anymore, which is fantastic!! I don't think its going to be too long until he can do them properly. He already has the left lead to right lead pretty much sorted, its just the right to left he gets muddled with. Not helped by the fact that his butt muscles still sorting themselves out. With it all going so well, I decided I might as well try & see if jumping was possible & it was! Which was great, he wanted to tank into the small upright, but after a few canter/walk and canter/halt transitions in a few places including coming into the jump, he learnt that maybe it was better to just wait instead of trying to take over.

Onwards & upwards from here!!

20 October 2008

Flynn the DQ?

Well with me being out of action, Karen has been doing an absolutely spectacular job of schooling Flynn for me. So much so in that he is already a lot more balanced and responsive and straight.

His trot has improved out of sight, now that he is straighter, he has developed a lovely big trot, complete with a bit of elevation! No more shuffling for us!

He can also now maintain a frame when you give away the rein for a few strides!

Flynn has a makeover

On Sunday I went with Karen out to the orange pony, where he then proceeded to have a complete makeover. Karen pulled his mane, clipped his legs, beard and all the wispy hairs off. He then got a bath & slathered in some staysound as he had come in with 2 swollen legs. Not sure what he was doing in the paddock! Here are some photos after his bath

05 October 2008

Poor Flynny!

Took Flynn to Claire McGowan yesterday as he's been disuniting a lot when asking for flying changes & doing the odd buck when asking for canter. Turns out he's ripped his stabiliser muscle in his butt on the near side. Hence only sometimes being silly & not constantly silly, still being able to jump etc, etc. Apparently its not a muscle they use all the time, only when its needed, so very easy to miss when its been damaged. I feel so bad, she thinks he would have done it a few months ago, so its a week of no canter, lots of lateral trot walk (thank god he likes sideways work!) & lots of massage for 3 weeks. Thankfully it is a relatively easy fix as although its not a muscle in constant use, it is full of nerves, so will come right nicely. Next show still on track for Show Hunter at Leamington 26th October as ok'd by Claire. I have my op on Tuesday, so for 3 weeks Karen will be riding him & making a DQ & I'll pretty much start riding a few days before the show.